- What Does Hybrid Cloud Mean?
- Private Vs. Public Clouds
- What are The Benefits of Going Hybrid in Cloud
- What Is the Architecture of a Hybrid Cloud
- The Roles in the Cloud
Recently, there has been a great buzz about hybrid cloud, with many organisations moving their businesses to the cloud. So what is hybrid cloud, and why should it matter to you and your business? Moving workloads to the cloud creates an elastic infrastructure that makes a hybrid cloud a popular solution for many organisations. If you’re on your cloud journey and are looking to develop a strong hybrid strategy, this guide will help you address all the critical points.
What Does Hybrid Cloud Mean?
A hybrid cloud refers to a cloud computing environment that incorporates third-party, public cloud services with on-premises private cloud services to deploy and manage applications and services.
You create a sophisticated system of linked cloud environments tailored uniquely to your business by creatively using these elements. The result is an unparalleled degree of agility with the freedom to move and share data sets back and forth, thus ensuring you stay ahead of the competition while remaining cost-effective.
A good example is Google Cloud’s Anthos, a managed platform that allows you to deploy your applications as cloud-native and traditional. It helps you create an operational consistency across all apps, thus accelerating developer productivity and software delivery.
Whether your organisation is looking to increase business resilience, reduce capital expenditure, roll out apps more quickly, increase security or make better use of data, hybrid cloud can help.
Private Vs. Public Clouds
A private cloud refers to everything contained behind an organisation’s walls. Private clouds operate within a company’s local data centre. On the other hand, a public cloud includes a whole host of companies and services, with the most common names in the industry being Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Service.
Third-party providers offer public cloud services to anyone on the internet. In contrast, private cloud services are provided to a select group of users over a private internal network.
A multi-cloud environment refers to two or more public cloud providers. It considers any combination of public, private, or hybrid clouds.
What are The Benefits of Going Hybrid in Cloud
A hybrid cloud environment allows an organisation to position its most sensitive workloads in an on-premise cloud (private cloud). It hosts the less critical resources on a third-party cloud provider, thus allowing companies to reap the best of both worlds. So how do enterprises benefit from going hybrid in the cloud?
Cost management plays a significant role for many companies looking to move to the cloud. A private cloud lets organisations own and operate their data centre internally. This, in turn, results in significant expenses and fixed costs incurred. Public cloud services and resources are reported as operational and variable expenses.
A hybrid cloud is the best option for enterprises that need more control and security of their data but want a cost-effective way of scaling their operations to meet the demand fluctuations and experience long-term growth.
A hybrid cloud environment means that companies can house their sensitive business-critical data on their on-site servers while also offloading their less critical data and apps to the public cloud.
This way, when there is a spike in demand, businesses can avoid huge capital expenditures when expanding their infrastructure by instead paying only for the resources they use. It’s also an excellent option for when the demand levels shoot down as the costs drop.
Organisations benefit more in terms of resources with a hybrid cloud option as opposed to their physical data centres. This is because a hybrid cloud makes it easy to allocate, deploy and scale a company’s resources to meet any spikes in demand. When demand is more than the local data centre’s capacity, a company needs to be able to respond immediately.
A speedy response not only helps you avoid missing out on potential customers. It also helps save your brand’s reputation. In addition, a hybrid cloud environment enables a company to meet any demand by bursting the apps to the public cloud, thus accessing extra scale and capacity.
Enterprises that use a private cloud are fully responsible for the security of their on-premise environments. However, they have more control of any sensitive data and workload that remains in their data centres. On the other hand, public cloud providers share security responsibilities with their users.
The cloud provider ensures the infrastructure is secure while the rest is left to users, who must ensure that their applications and data are secured safely in the cloud. The upside is that public cloud users get the latest security expertise and tools, although they are subject to risks such as breaches hosting in the shared environment.
With a platform like Anthos, security is integrated into every application development stage from start to finish while allowing a defence in depth security strategy across all deployment models.
Enterprises in highly regulated industries such as the medical industry have to follow certain restrictions on where their data can reside. This means that such businesses can’t move some of their workloads to the public cloud.
A hybrid cloud strategy allows companies to store their data in a private data centre while operating workloads in the cloud. You can also manage workloads in a private environment and keep data in the public cloud. This, therefore, means that businesses get to benefit from the cloud’s elastic nature while still meeting industry requirements.
A brand’s ability to respond quickly to changes in demand plays a vital role in innovation and, consequently, competition. In today’s world, speed to market is the make-or-break factor that offers companies a competitive edge.
A hybrid cloud model helps you increase your speed-to-market rate by optimising performance and offering the agility you need to meet the ever-changing business demands. Since organisations with hybrid cloud are limited to private on-premise infrastructure, they can quickly expand their workloads and test prototypes to launch new products.
What Is the Architecture of a Hybrid Cloud
A hybrid cloud strategy needs to have three main components:
- A private computing resource such as an on-premise data centre.
- A public infrastructure such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS.
- An excellent network connection to the hybrid cloud’s public and private cloud environments.
When building your hybrid cloud architecture, it’s essential to consider a few factors.
The Cloud Operating Environment You Want To Use
Since cloud operating systems manage hybrid clouds, organisations should consider a cloud OS that offers flexibility and data management. This is because the cloud OS often has implications for other follow-up decisions. Therefore, companies should take their time in ensuring the cloud OS they’ve chosen is the best fit.
Which Platform Should You Utilise
The many public cloud providers have the same IaaS offerings. Still, the differences in physical geographies, tools and interface are many.
When looking for a cloud platform you can utilise, choose a provider who aligns well with your choice of cloud OS foundations. Additionally, considering future needs will help you ensure that the platform can handle the migration of workloads and integrate seamlessly with already in place on-premise private cloud assets.
Which Workload Runs in Which Cloud
When planning the cloud for your workload, you need to consider several factors like security, price, accessibility, and regulatory compliance issues. As such, you need a cloud that can help you balance the need for security with compliance requirements and accessibility and should be best aligned to on-premise applications and tools.
The Roles in the Cloud
Among the various actors working on cloud there are three that stand out: Cloud Engineer, Cloud Architect and Data Engineer.
The cloud engineer builds, deploys and maintains the environment and infrastructure on which cloud applications run. Since most activities revolve around constant integration and deployment, automation becomes a significant role for a cloud engineer.
A cloud engineer’s roles include:
- Using CI/CD tools and source control tools to create software delivery pipelines and deliver services to the proper infrastructure
- Developing tools for developers to facilitate their activities
- Keeping an eye on the performance of the delivered solutions
A cloud architect is a crucial part of the puzzle in the cloud market. They are responsible for working with the enterprise and its technology team to design the proper hybrid cloud infrastructure and services to support the company’s strategy.
Cloud architectures have a technical role to play. However, with the need to understand the various cloud platforms in the market and their configurations, a cloud architect’s job becomes highly people-centric. Some of their roles include:
- Understanding business needs
- Translating the business needs into exemplary architecture and designing the solutions needed to fulfil them
- Help developers understand and interpret the designs into solutions
A data engineer is in charge of managing, optimising, overseeing, and monitoring the storage, retrieval, and distribution of a company’s data on the cloud. They:
- Work with consumers to help them understand their data requirements
- Build algorithms to allow mining from raw data and consequent modelling of data sets
- Create and maintain machine learning, AI and statistical models
- Support cloud architects and cloud engineers in their roles
- Manage data infrastructures such as data lakes, databases and data warehouses
In case you’re interested in gaining the skills required for those roles you can register to Google Cloud Pro, the Google Cloud program that prepares you for the certifications with webinars, on-demand courses and Q&A sessions.
Hybrid cloud is a complex concept, but its benefits are more than evident. Suppose you want to make the concept work in the real world. In that case, you will need an operational model that lets you centralise and automate every aspect of your business, from the configuration to the management aspect, without breaking the bank.